Over the last week, on a few photography forums, people have been talking the demise of the professional photographers and the photo studios. It's not just one forum posting, but a whole bunch of them. Is the same person seeding the forum or the mood? I don't know.
The summary is that everybody complains:
- Digital has killed the professional photographer business.
- The economy “stinks” and people stopped buying photos.
- Uncle Harry and the GWC aka the Girl With a Camera have killed the market by working for free…
Let's review the facts:
- The economy is bad in many places. In some place, the unemployment rate is as high as 20%.
- A large number of photo studios have closed.
So with a syllogism: The economy is to blame for the closing of the photo studios. The problem with most of the people complaining is they blame somebody else instead of themselves. Yes, for most cases, it's their fault! They were teetering over the edge and the recession just allowed them to crumble.
Why is it their fault? Because none of these photographers and studios couldn't answer the question:
Why buy from you?
The standard answer is:
Because of my unique vision…
Completely false, there's no unique vision! If you actually have a real vision, it will be immediately copied by other photographers.
- Las Vegas John Michael Cooper started â€œTrash The Dressâ€ in 2001. Itâ€™s a second photo shoot of the bride but this time done in alleys, on the beach or in a garbage dump and the wedding dress gets destroyed. Now almost every wedding photographer has an option called: â€œTrash The Dressâ€ on her price list.
- Millions of photographers are still copying Ansel Adams.
- Look at HDR made famous by Trey Ratcliff with his website Stuck In Customs. They are so many people doing it that they have Flickr stream, they have Flickr groups, photo groups by the hundreds…
So can you answer “why buy from you?” I can answer for myself:
- Reliability. I'm on time at meetings. I deliver on my promises.
Trust. Customer believe that I will deliver their photos.
- I promise a 110% money back guarantee. (Sometimes the guarantee is only 100% money back depending on the mood, the wind, the age of the captain…)
- Liability insurance
- My website
- My business attitude
Notice that it's not my photo skills, I deliver photos that please my customers:
- In focus
- A different look that the regular point and shoot with a tele wide open…
- Nice crop
- Big prints